National Team Appointment: It Means So Much For Me To Be Part Of U-17 Technical Crew – Haruna Ilerika
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By Cosmas Ezeoke
Newly appointed assistant coach of the U-17 national team, Usman Haruna Ilerika have stated that he is ready to serve in any capacity deemed fit by Nigeria football federation.
Ilerika in an exclusive interview in Abuja said it’s a privilege to serve his country in different capacity at age grade level so giving him the opportunity to serve at under -17 level is an added opportunity to continue to nurture future football players for the country
The former FCDA FC, FC Abuja and National Under- 15 coach stated this while reacting to criticisms that have trailed his appointment following the reports that he have better qualifications than the people being put ahead of him.
“Iam a coach and always ready to serve my country in any capacity whenever I am called upon.
“I have served at U-13 and U-15 for so many years, now I have been given the opportunity which is a rare privilege and I am ready to take it with both hands.
“Being among the chosen ones in a country of over two hundred million people means so much to me and I am happy to serve .
Haruna Ilerika is one of the most qualified coaches in Nigeria having acquired the requisite knowledge to handle any of our national teams.
He graduated from Ahmadu Bello University ,Zaria with a first degree and later went to Nigeria Institute of sports ,NIS where he bagged diploma in coaching after studying for two years in the reputable institution.
He is also a master degree holder in addition to attending the reputable Dutch coaching school in Netherlands which has produced top class coaches.
Ilerika is also a CAF licensed coach and currently CAF and NFF instructor and have contributed immensely to the discovery of players like Taiwo Awoniyi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Chidera Eze, Taiwo Abdurahman, John Lazarus and many others .
In 2014,he took the Nigeria under 15 team to African youth games in Botswana where he won gold in football and in 2018 in Algeria he won silver.
Though it is a big source of worry for many stakeholders after NFF named him the third assistant coach despite his achievements and qualifications but like he said ‘i am ready to serve in any capacity’